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Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award
In a Nutshell: Loss, friendship and the light of re-finding your way | An exceptional novel about grief, guilt and finding solace in celebrating loved ones’ lives.
I adored the author’s haunting southern gothic-spiced debut (The Serpent King), and the same exquisite storytelling shines through here from the opening pages, when seventeen-year-old Carver reveals that his three best friends, Mars, Blake and Eli, were killed in a car crash as the driver, Mars, replied to Carver’s text. Collectively, they were the “Sauce Crew”, four creative teenagers with exciting futures on their near horizons, but now three lives have been cut short, and it feels to Carver as if his life is over too. He’s shattered by grief, and then a criminal investigation into the accident exacerbates his turmoil. But there’s hope to be had from the special memorial days suggested by Blake’s adorable, wise Nana Betsy.
The characterisation is masterful, blending painterly personal detail with broader strokes that lay universalities bare, and the writing expresses emotional rawness - the choke of Carver's panic attacks, the blinding thunderstorm of his nightmares - with a powerful punch. Jeff Zentner is the real deal. ~ Joanne Owen
Can a text message destroy your life?Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can't stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths. Then Blake's grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a 'goodbye day' together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli's bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver's own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?
Teens and YA's love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
One of the most stunningly heartfelt, lump-in-your-throat novels I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Hold on to your heart: this book will wreck you, fix you, and most definitely change you Becky Albertalli
Written in his lyrical and clear-eyed style, Jeff Zentner's Goodbye Days is a gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately life-affirming meditation on grief and forgiveness Nicola Yoon
From the opening line, Zentner expertly channels Carver's distinctive voice as a 17-year-old writer turned funeral expert Publishers Weekly
An absorbing effort with emotional and psychological integrity Booklist, starred review
Tender, honest, moving, and lyrical. His characters live and breathe. Ahh, lucky me. Lucky us. Zentner is the real thing Benjamin Alire Saenz
|Publication date:||6th April 2017|
|Publisher:||Andersen Press Ltd|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 4|
|Topics:||Death / Bereavement, Romance / Relationship Stories, Siblings|
Jeff Zentner was a singer-songwriter and guitarist who released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. He is now an appellate attorney for the State of Tennessee and lives in Nashville with his wife and son. He wrote The Serpent King in a month, writing on his mobile phone on his commute and at night, weekends and lunchtimes between court cases. Photo credit: Steve CrossMore About Jeff Zentner